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For example, if I was talking about struggling with math homework, or I was at war with another country for purely economic reasons, would the word 'jihad" be appropriate? By definition, does the word refer to a holy struggle?

About the possible duplication of this question: I don't know how that question is even remotely like mine other than that they both use the word jihad. I don't care about the obligation to follow jihad. I want to know if I am an Arabic speaking child, if I struggle with math, is that a jihad.

  • Your answer – servant-of-Wiser Mar 14 '15 at 5:46
  • ^^^ irrelevant. the question you gave is only about an obligtaion or not. but his question is different. definition and obligation. they are different points – Farhan Mar 14 '15 at 10:11
  • I don't know how that question is even remotely like mine other than that they both use the word jihad. I don't care about the obligation to follow jihad. I want to know if I am an Arabic speaking child, if I struggle with math, is that a jihad. – Jimmy G. Mar 14 '15 at 21:40
  • Dear Jimmy, I think you've missed the points under the "Actual Jihad definition" of Ashu's answer here to this What is the real meaning and connotation of 'Jihad?'. I gave you those questions so that you might get some clear picture what's going on. Not to exactly answer your question. btw. If you're struggling to reach a can of food, with an intention just to fill your belly, it is literal 'Jihad'(the true meaning), but intending to feed others too could be religious Jihad. – servant-of-Wiser Mar 15 '15 at 1:56
  • It's not a duplicate of the "obligation" question, but it's certainly a duplicate of the "real meaning" question. – Mr. Bultitude Mar 17 '15 at 20:13
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Jihad comes from three arabic letter Ja ha dha(جهد), which means to "strive with great effort".

Do Quran use this word outside the context of war ? yes, In Quran there are number of verses this root is used outside of religious war. For example, Quran speaks about unbelievers taking their strongest oaths that dead will not be raised again. here the word used for "taking strongest" is Jahadha. Quran 16:38 . In number of places Jahadha is used in the context of oaths, see eg. 5:53, 6:109, 24:53, 35:42 . Quran uses this word in the context of being nice to parents but if they "strive"(do jihad) to call you to polytheism, do not obey in that case. see 29:8 , 31:16

Also when Jihad is mentioned in Quran, number of places it is said to do jihad in the way of Allah with wealth. 8:72 , 9:20.

  • My main question that you and the other answer comes within a hairsbreadth of answering (everything is answered except this) is can Jihad be used in a secular way? Does this happen in the Qu'ran? Was "Jihad" used prior to Islam? Is "Jihad" used in a secular way now? – Jimmy G. Mar 28 '15 at 6:39
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Maybe before the Prophet(puh), but not now. Words's meanings change in time. Outside the context of Islam, I am not sure this word has a meaning today. I searched in the internet a bit and everywhere containing the word "jihad" talks in the context of Islam whether they are Islamic or non-Islamic sites. It would be good if an Arab would tells us if they use this word as just struggle without religion context or not.

  • I think you completely missed the question. My concern is with the interpretation of the word "jihad." Let me be even more simplistic: If I am striving to reach a can of food on the top shelf of the grocery store, with my intent obviously being to reach the can so that I may consume its contents at a later date, is that a jihad? Or is jihad limited only to religious struggles? – Jimmy G. Mar 15 '15 at 1:28
  • @JimmyG., Maybe before the Prophet(puh), but not now. Words's meanings change in time. Outside the context of Islam, I am not sure this word has a meaning today. – kalahari Mar 15 '15 at 1:44
  • If you were more definitive in your answer, with possibly a reference, I would vote this as the answer (if it were in the answer field). Thank you for your input though. – Jimmy G. Mar 15 '15 at 2:25
  • While I appreciate the effort of searching the Internet, that could hardly be considered evidence. I agree about the Arabic-speaker helping to settle this but an Arabic historian would be even better. They could possibly inform us as to whether how the word came into being. – Jimmy G. Mar 15 '15 at 3:40

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